Loving support from your family and friends can make a big difference in the health of your pregnancy and the first years of your baby’s life.
dads are key
Research shows having an involved father offers many benefits to the partner and the baby, including better breastfeeding, fewer complications during delivery and lots of benefits for children.
Your child’s father can play an important role throughout pregnancy and after your baby arrives even if you aren’t in a romantic relationship. Remember, fathers need support, too. Visit the National Fatherhood Clearinghouse to learn more.
ask for help
You may like to do things by yourself. You may even think you’ll want a lot of privacy after the baby is born. Sooner or later though, you’re going to want a little help.
Get any close friends of family members involved now. It’s a good idea to have at least one other person (your partner, a family member or friend) go with you to your provider appointments. That person can help ask questions and remember information that you might miss or forget. Plan for them to be with you when you give birth and after the baby comes, too.
Some families go to a special kind of prenatal care called group prenatal care or Centering®. In group prenatal care, your provider examines you individually, but you and your partner spend the rest of the appointment in group time with other women due around the same time. You can talk about changes going on with the pregnancy, challenges you might be having and learn about healthy habits. Ask your provider if they know of any group prenatal classes.
Some expectant mothers find it helpful to use the services of a doula, or birth attendant, during labor and delivery. A doula does not replace your partner. They offer support for you and your partner. A doula knows the birth process, knows what to expect and can be a go-between for you and your partner with the medical team.
the more you know, the better you’ll be
Help yourself get more confident in your knowledge of pregnancy, labor, delivery and your baby’s development. Text4baby is a free text messaging service for pregnant women and moms of babies up to one year old. It’s available in English and Spanish and works with all phone service providers, whether or not you have a data plan.
Text4baby sends messages to moms, dads, grandparents and anyone else who signs up. The information is based on your baby’s birthdate or due date, so you can be sure the information will be important to you and your situation.
After your baby’s first birthday, you will receive one message per month until the baby turns five. These messages will alert you to recalls, disease outbreaks and vaccine reminders. You can even use text4baby to set appointment reminders. Click here to learn more.
share the joy
Having a baby means a lot to you and your loved ones. Keep them updated throughout the pregnancy. For example, tell them what it’s like to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
Sharing these moments will help those close to you feel involved during your pregnancy and remind them they’ve got a new role in your life. Your sister is becoming an aunt. Your father is turning into a grandfather. It’s an exciting time for everybody, so be sure to let them know what’s going on.
Know your employee rights and find out what kind of worksite protections your job offers for parents of newborn babies. Other topics to learn more about are workplace breastfeeding laws, as well as maternity and paternity leave policies.
The more informed you are, the better you can stand up for your rights. Breastfeeding mothers have fewer missed days from work, so if your job is not mother-friendly, learn how to change it through the Texas Mother Friendly Worksite Program.
It is common for new mothers to feel nervous. In this video, a woman gives advice on how to build a support system.